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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Heartfelt
March Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
When I was in about the 4th grade, my knowledge of music didn't reach much further than the oldies my mom listened to and the dance pop of Chicago's B96. Sandwiched between such classics as "Pump Up The Jam" and "Wiggle It" would be early 90's house by mysteriously nameless artists, with melodies poppy and obvious enough for at least my nine year old self to get into. They sound cheesy now, but whenever I hear that kind of stuff, it still appeals to me on my most basic levels of appreciating music. At its best, that is where Figurine's The Heartfelt goes. The second and best track, "IMpossible", has all the bases of decade-old dance covered: the bass drum on 1, the snare on 3, brooding DX-7 era synthetic strings, and a hook you can swear you've heard coming out of some Camaro next to you at some stoplight. In a good way.

On "Rewind," a clumsily plucked acoustic guitar is paired with that damn high-resonance raygun sound that every kid with pirated drum machine software abuses the fuck out of. But the thing you end up taking away from most of this record is that the songs are actually good. The guy/girl verse trading off works as well as any other band out there, despite the press release claiming the band does "love songs about UFOs and baud rates." Fuck that. The first and only band that made singing about robots and computer worlds cool was Kraftwerk. These are just plain love songs, of the leaving and finding varieties, heartfelt and honest, and rarely sappy or lame.

Through the duration of the CD, allusions to New Order, The Pet Shop Boys, and early Depeche Mode become obvious. But unlike, say, the Anniversary or the Faint, Figurine takes these influences in the context of their times, instead of just throwing some Moogs on some rock songs. There's a couple tracks that are just glitchy noodling (and one that takes the same effect used to spell out O-U-T-K-A-S-T on the opening seconds of Stankonia), but these errors are acceptable, as the rest is packed with pop the way it was supposed to sound in 2001 if you were thinking about that kind of stuff in the 80's. If nothing else, buy this so you can own an album whose thank you's are made up entirely of email addresses. Who does that?

Reviewed by Jeremy Keller
A staff writer for LAS, Jeremy Keller uses his uncanny ability to intellectualize sports for the greater good of mankind.

See other reviews by Jeremy Keller



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